Magnuson Hotels plans London office
January 29, 2010
Company has affiliates in Scotland, Bahamas, eyes adding 150 UK hotels
By Jeanne Gustafson
Journal of Business
The owners of Spokane-based Magnuson Hotels say they plan, personally, to move to London soon to launch an international headquarters for the quickly growing hotel-reservation management company.
Tom Magnuson, the company’s CEO, says he and his wife, Melissa, will move to London in March to establish the location, which will be staffed by 20 people and will focus in its first year on expanding the company’s base of client hotels in the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic.
Currently, Magnuson Hotels has a network of about 1,100 affiliated hotels, including recently added hotels in Scotland, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico, the first hotels it has signed up for its reservation service outside of North America.
With the new office, the company hopes to add about 150 hotel properties in Ireland and in the United Kingdom – which includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland—by August, Magnuson says.
While he says the Magnuson Hotels brand has been popular with clients in the U.S., the company’s approach in the United Kingdom will focus on helping hotels to maintain their individual identities while increasing their reservations.
“In the UK, independent multi-generational family businesses dominate the marketplace,” he says.
Magnuson says he believes now is a good time to offer Magnuson Hotels’ services to that market, as many independent hotels there have been struggling in the economic downturn.
“It’s the first time the occupancy has dropped in decades as the UK’s economy really follows the aftershocks of the U.S.,” he says. “We want to help them stabilize to become more competitive.”
The company says that year-to-date, reservations made through its service have increased 36 percent from the previous period in 2009, and it hopes to have 2,000 affiliates by the end of the year.
Magnuson says the Spokane office, which employs about 50 people, will remain the company’s centralized headquarters, and he and his wife will be returning here regularly during their approximately one-year stay in London. He says it will be a big change for their family, including their 13-year-old son.
“The most exotic place Melissa and I have ever lived together is Wallace, Idaho,” he says.
Contact Jeanne Gustafson at (509) 344-1264 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
About Magnuson Hotels, the fastest growing hotel chain in history.
In only seven years, Magnuson Hotels headquartered in Spokane, WA has become the world’s largest independent hotel group, representing nearly 1500 hotels and a combined affiliate base with assets in excess of $5.5 Billion. One of the top 10 global hotel chains, Magnuson Hotels was the #1 Hotel Company of Inc. Magazine’s 2009 annual ranking of the 5,000 fastest growing privately owned U.S. companies. With a four year reservation sales growth of 595%, Magnuson Hotels is listed in the top 100 U.S. business services companies.